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The Year of the Dog    by Grace Lin order for
Year of the Dog
by Grace Lin
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This sweet story is narrated by Pacy/Grace, a young member of a Chinese American family (the parents came from Taiwan) as The Year of the Dog begins. Readers learn with her that it's a 'year for friends and family ... a good year to find yourself.' The book is filled with delightful sketches, including one that shows how to draw a dog in nine easy steps.

Pacy to her family, Grace at school, this girl leads us through her life, rich in family, friendship and tradition (as well as New Year celebrations, there are events like cousin Albert's Red Egg party). Pacy's account is interspersed with family stories like 'How Grandpa Got Rich' and 'Uncle Shin and the Special Cake'. She shares her daily life with family, a crush at school, her love of reading and of art. She enters a book contest, and the science fair, and participates in the school play as an Oz munchkin.

At the end of the book, Grace looks back on the year that was a lucky one for her - she made a new best friend, she found herself and discovered her talent. The author tells us in a Note at the back what it was like to grow up Asian in a mostly Caucasian community, speaking of 'the constant whirling of East and West that spun the threads of my identity. At the time, I felt these different threads twisted my life into knots. Now I know that the fabric of my life is richer for them.'

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